Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with World Affairs editor for BBC News, John Simpson, reiterated the government’s position that the decision to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan will be a collective decision of all the regional countries.
The Pakistani premier reiterated that the Afghan Taliban should not let their soil be used for exporting terrorism to other countries as its neighbors were the most worried about their security.
Furthermore, he emphasized the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan, in the absence of which the country would plunge into a civil war.
When asked about the Taliban’s recent move to disallow girls to go to school, the incumbent PM voiced his support for women’s education and regarded the idea of prohibiting girls from going to school as totally un-Islamic.
He said that he thought that the Taliban will allow girls to go to school and termed their statements since returning to power ‘encouraging’. He felt that it was only a matter of time before the Afghan women would assert their rights as the Afghans are strong people.
Moreover, PM Khan stressed the importance of the Taliban ensuring human rights for all its citizens, as international legitimacy for the regime depends on it. He has time and again highlighted that Afghanistan is at a crossroads and how the situation unfolds under the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan remains to be seen.
It is worth mentioning that Imran Khan has repeatedly appealed to the world community to engage positively with the Taliban, working with them and incentivize them to ensure lasting peace in our western neighbor.
Imran Khan ensured that the direction in which Afghanistan goes will become clear in a short time and that the world should hope, pray and work for durable peace in the war-ravaged country.
Ascend to Power
The US invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attack, in which approximately 3000 American citizens were killed, with the aim to topple the Taliban government, eradicate the non-state-actors, and rebuild the country.
In April 2002, President Bush promised to help bring “true peace” to Afghanistan: “Peace will be achieved by helping Afghanistan develop its own stable government. Peace will be achieved by helping Afghanistan train and develop its own national army. And peace will be achieved through an education system for boys and girls which works.”
After two decades of a bloody conflict and a failed nation-building experiment, as the well-trained Afghan Army ‘collapsed’, the Taliban ascended to power on 15th August 2021.
The Taliban since coming to power has vowed not to let the Afghan territory become a safe haven for terrorist groups again.
The group had announced the intent to form an inclusive government, but no signs of that have yet been seen in action. The governments globally have adopted a ‘wait and watch’ approach, including the friendlier nations like Pakistan, Turkey, Qatar, and others.
The IMF has frozen Afghan Central Bank’s assets which are in New York, and with the inflow of dollars into the country being halted the Afghan economy is poised to sink fast.
Pakistan under the leadership of Imran Khan has been calling for humanitarian aid for the sake of millions of Afghan citizens, and rehabilitation of the country, while the world is reluctant to aid the group in any way that would indicate acceptance of the status quo.
On Monday, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s foreign minister, wrote to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres asking for a speaking slot at the U.N. General Assembly and requesting the world body boot the current Afghan U.N. ambassador out.
As another attempt at seeking international legitimacy, it remains to be seen whether the Taliban government is impacted by the isolationism, as the world is reluctant to recognize the Taliban before they demonstrate a willingness to form an inclusive government and respect the human rights of the Afghan people.